Grapes: Grenache Gris + Macabeu
Region: Roussillon, France
Viticulture: Organic + Biodynamic
Vinification: Blend of barrels from different vintages aged sous voile–Pressed with whole clusters, settled without cooling. Ambient yeast fermentation with no added SO2 in used barrels and foudres
Aging: 12-24 months on lees
Fining or Filtering: Minimal filtering
Sulfur: Minimal added
Notes from the Importer: The couple named their domaine Roc des Anges after a large white outcropping of quartz in a vineyard—Roc for rock, and Anges for angels.
Until 2008, the domaine rested mostly on Marjorie’s shoulders with Stéphane helping out on the weekends.“2008 was the big jump into the abyss,” says Stéphane. He left Mas Amiel. Their second son was not yet a year old. They had two dogs, one with a litter of eight puppies. They transitioned Le Roc des Anges to organic. They moved the winery which had yet to make a profit. And they started a parallel project.
Stéphane was not allowed to make Maury, neither by his ex-boss (it was a condition of his departure’s settlement) nor by Marjorie because of a failed earlier attempt. However, he had a passion for vin doux, as well as a talent for making it, so he would sneak out to look at vineyards for sale in Maury, eventually finding some he wanted. Marjorie relented. The couple borrowed money to pay off his ex-employer to lift the non-compete clause and they started Terres de Fagayra.
The good news was they finally could make wine together. “The energy is different when there are two of you,” Stéphane says. “We could exchange thoughts on everything whenever we wanted to.”
“We came to biodynamics by tasting the wine of others,” says Marjorie. “We wanted to make wines with the same energy. It happened when we started to let go of our Cartesian side, our agronomy training. Certain wines moved us. We couldn’t really describe what touched us, but the common thread was that they were made by biodynamic domaines.”
In 2011, the couple took the entire domaine, now 30 hectares, biodynamic. They chose Jacques Mell as a consultant. He is less famous than Masson but he has helped many Champenois: Larmandier-Bernier, Anselme Selosse, Francis Boulard, Jérôme Prevost
Tasting Notes: The dry, invigorating structure at first sip is unmistakable. A clear and unmistakable saltiness and spiciness dominate, which is in keeping with its animating nature. This wine accompanies wonderfully south-facing dishes with juicy vegetables and strong spices.